5 Natural Emotions You can Expect to Feel after Placing Your Baby for Adoption
As a birth mother, you might have fantasized on what your baby will look like, and which of their traits will mirror yours or those in your family. For nine months, you carried the baby inside of you, felt them grow, developed a connection, and earned the title of mother. Then you held him or her for the first time. Undeniable love swept over you.
If you are a pregnant woman in Arizona thinking about placing your baby for adoption, these feelings may or may not be the same for you. The joy and relief many birth mothers feel once the baby is born may not be as easy for you. You may no longer have the same bond with your child, nor be able to watch them grow up like most mothers are able to. Knowing this will help you prepare and gain insight into how you may feel after your baby is placed for adoption.
Adoption Choices of Arizona is here to assist you. We have composed this resource of emotions you can expect to feel after placing your baby for adoption that will assist any expectant mother wanting to place her child for adoption. And while these are the darker side of the emotions you might feel, they are common and we want to set you up to be able to successfully handle any tough emotion that hits you.
It is not abnormal for a birth mother whose baby was just placed with their adoptive family to feel sad for a while. After all, their child belonged to them for nine months, and now have a different family and last name. They may not be able to spend as much time with their child the way many birth mothers can. Depending on the type of adoption and agreement they made with the adoptive parents, they may not be able to celebrate every family reunion, holiday, and birthday with their child like they wish they could.
So, one of the emotions you may feel is depression. Along with this, sadness, grief and loneliness. This is completely natural and to be expected. It is also possible that you might feel an emptiness inside you after your baby is born and the adoption is finalized. Though it might not seem like it at first, time will heal the sadness inside you. Be sure to speak with a counselor or a trusted member of your support system to help you.
Many birth mothers who have placed their child for adoption wonder how their child will feel about the adoption once he or she gets older. Fear their child will grow up feeling like their birth mother abandoned or did not want or care about them. Another fear birth mothers might have is that their child is not better off with another family.
If you find yourself feeling this emotion post adoption, this is natural. Fear is part of the grieving and letting go process, but it will pass. Remember to talk with your adoption caseworker or an adoption counselor. Look over the updates the adoptive parents have sent if you have chosen either an open or semi-open adoption plan. Talk to the adoptive parents about how they will tell their child about his or her adoption story. How they will introduce you into it. This, and more, will help calm your nerves and remind you that you’ve made the right choice. That your child is being cared for.
Every mother wants to trust that the decisions they make are in the best interest of their child. Some may want to be a part of their child’s life. To ensure that he or she is loved and supported, and growing up in a safe and happy environment. Yet, at the same time, they may feel shame and guilt that causes them to put distance between themselves, the child and the adoptive parents.
If this sounds like you, remember the reasons why you chose to place your baby for adoption. The decision was not an easy one, of course, but remind yourself that you made the smart move. That adoption is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it’s a blessing. Not only did you provide your child with their best chance at life, but you also helped an adoptive parents’ dreams come true. For this reason, and many others, there’s no need for you to feel ashamed or guilty about your decision. Just know that this is an emotion you may feel, but it will resolve as you grieve and move forward after the adoption has been finalized.
Although your decision to place your baby for adoption was the responsible one, you might feel that you made a mistake. You may second guess yourself and experience regret. You may feel that you should be the one to care for the child, no matter the circumstances. That, somehow, you failed and are now less of a mother for choosing adoption.
Regret is another common and natural emotion to feel during the adoption process or after an adoption has been finalized. If you find yourself struggling with this, be sure to talk to a counselor, mental health professional or someone in your support system. Attend a local or virtual birth mother support group and listen to the stories of other birth mothers who have been or are currently in your shoes. You’ll quickly find that you are not alone. That placing your baby for adoption was not a mistake, and you are not a failure as a mother. Choosing adoption is an extremely brave, selfless and loving choice. Maybe you wish your circumstances were different, but you chose to willingly put your child’s needs above your own and provide them with a brighter future. You made the right choice. So, there’s no need to feel bad or regret your desire to give him or her the life they deserve.
As the birth mother, you may feel bursts of anger from time to time. Some may be justified. Others may feel out of the blue. This short temper is another emotion you may experience after you place your baby for adoption. It’s natural and part of the grieving process. Whether your pregnancy was planned or not, you may feel anger towards yourself or the child’s birth father for not being more careful. For putting yourselves in this difficult situation. You may feel anger towards family or friends, if they were unsupportive at all during your adoption journey. You may even feel anger towards your adoptive family — even though, deep down, you know they will love and care for your child.
Anger is a secondary emotion. There’s always something brewing underneath it. So, in times where you feel irritable, upset or have a short temper, remember that. Remember, too, that holding onto your anger will stop you from living your life the way you were meant to. Don’t bottle it inside. Reach out. Seek professional help from a counselor or someone who can help you through this part of the grieving process.
Accepting Your Decision to Place Your Baby for Adoption
Whether you have recently placed, are in the midst of placing or made the decision to place your baby for adoption years ago, it’s important to be aware of possible emotions you may experience throughout your adoption journey. The five mentioned above are just some of the emotions you can expect to feel after placing your baby for adoption. There are others, of course.
But the important thing to remember is how to process them healthfully as you grieve and move forward with your life. It doesn’t matter if you’ve chosen an open, semi-open or closed adoption. These emotions, as well as others, are natural and to be expected. So, whatever helps you best during your time of healing, be sure to take full advantage of it. Journal. Practice self-care. Talk to family and friends. Seek help from your mental health professional or adoption counselor. Remind yourself why you chose adoption for you and your child.
Adoption is a complex and emotional journey, but you will make it through one step at a time.
For adoption resources or to begin your adoption journey, birth parents can visit us at Adoption Choices of Arizona or call or text us at 1-480-900-5520. If you are an prospective adoptive family hoping to adopt a baby, please instead, visit us here!
Meet the author: Amanda Glover is a recent graduate from Savannah College of Art & Design in Atlanta, Georgia. She has earned her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Writing. Amanda is currently editing her first novel. Besides being a published novelist, her dreams include singing in a musical, becoming a figure skater, and traveling to Europe.
When she is not writing, she is reading a good romance or suspense book, painting a landscape on canvas, watching a comedy or thriller, or spending time with her friends and family. She loves fashion, books, music, pets, and all things Whimsical. Amanda currently lives in Decatur, Georgia.